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UConn Women’s Basketball Grinds Out Win Over Houston, 91-42

It wasn’t pretty, but the Huskies earned their 95th straight win.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn Women’s Basketball won Saturday afternoon in convincing fashion, but the final score didn’t tell the full story. Despite a 91-42 drubbing of the Houston Cougars, the Huskies struggled for most of the game in what was their worst performance of the season.

UConn came out of the gates flat and looked like they were still asleep with the early start time. The Huskies were sloppy on offense, making ill-advised passes, missing easy shots, and turning the ball over way too much.

They scored just four points in the first five minutes and fell behind 6-4 after a Chyanne Butler lay-in. It was the first time the Huskies trailed since they played Kansas State back in December—a stretch that lasted over 10 games and spanned 439:42 of game time.

After falling behind, UConn woke up and went on a 21-0 run to provide the cushion they’re accustomed to in conference games.

While most of the team struggled, Gabby Williams carried the Huskies. She led the team with 14 points in the first half, adding seven rebounds and three assists. The offense ran through her, but she also kept multiple possessions alive with offensive rebounds and tip-outs. She finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.

Katie Lou Samuelson was quiet early on. After missing her first four shots and going scoreless in the first quarter, the sophomore finally found her stroke in the second with a three and took off from there. She responded with another three before closing out the half by scoring eight of UConn’s final 11 points.

The ugly play continued in the second half. While the Huskies were better, they never seemed to get out of their funk. Luckily, they held a clear talent advantage and were able to build on their lead despite sub-par play.

The Huskies were in complete control down low, outscoring Houston 56-42 in the paint. UConn also grabbed 13 offensive rebounds which they turned into 15 points.

Napheesa Collier and Samuelson made history as they scored the most points of any duo in UConn history through 20 games. The two complement each other well and should lead the team to great heights in their time as Huskies.

Kia Nurse put together yet another strong performance with 16 points and eight assists. After a rough start to the season, the junior has turned a corner in recent weeks and is playing up to the expectations of being the AAC Preseason Player of the Year.

While the merits of playing in the American are few and far between, UConn certainly benefitted from playing a weak team here. It was their worst performance of the season and they could have easily lost against a tougher opponent.

If anything, this should serve as a wake-up call, as the Huskies won’t survive another performance like this next time out. The Huskies visit Temple, coached by Tonya Cardoza, a former longtime assistant under Geno Auriemma at UConn, on Wednesday. The Owls are among the better teams in the conference and currently hold a 16-3 record on the season.

Geno Auriemma postgame:

Gabby Williams, Katie Lou Samuelson, Kia Nurse postgame: